I lead a team of writers for my day job. I also set social media strategy for InterVarsity. I have done a lot of freelance work for magazines, with my excellent wife, Chrissy. We even have a book that’s on Amazon, ready for pre-order. I’ve had this blog for two years.
But I’m a terrible blogger.
Because of my work helping lead communications for InterVarsity, I know how to be an awesome blogger. I should:
- get up really early to write. (OK, I do that one sometimes.)
- write catchy headlines. (OK, I hit this occasionally, too.)
- zero in on a specific area, learning as I go and becoming the expert in that area. (And repost excellent content from others related to my area of focus.)
- post daily (or at least a couple times each week).
Bloggers who blog about blogging for bloggers give all the recommendations above and thousands more. They say, “No excuse. You want to be a blogger, you have to blog.”
The last two are why I’m a terrible blogger. Today, I want to deal with the frequency of posting.
I’ve occasionally gotten into a rhythm where I’m posting regularly—putting up solid content as often as three times a week. I was on the blogging team for the Global Leadership Summit, with some writing that I’m proud of. That came on the heels of the World Assembly of the International Fellowship of International Students (the IFES), where I also produced some good stuff.
But lately, I’ve struggled to write for my blog. Even a post per month seems like a challenge.
I think I’ve put my finger on why I suck at this.
At some point, blogging impedes living:
My kids just turned 7 and 9. We value a balanced family life. The kids are not in tons of stuff, but I try to be around most mornings and most evenings for them. I don’t really care if I ever have a platform of 50,000 blog subscribers. I care very much if Phoebe and Zeke are nurtured well. I don’t want to sacrifice my children on the altar of WordPress.
I write elsewhere. I have articles going out in magazines. I oversee and occasionally write for the national InterVarsity blog. Our book is being released in a couple months. (and I value much of this other writing more than pushing out content here). So it’s not like I’m not writing at all. But blogging doesn’t fit well.
I want to live Amazing Days. One of the premises of the new book grows from a commitment I made in high school to do something amazing every day. Chrissy already was doing the same when we met. Recent Amazing Days include weeding the garden with the kids after work with the kids, building a treehouse, meeting up with a friend I’d not seen in at least 12 years, learning to filet a fish, going in to work super early, doing yoga, and sitting and enjoying the sunrise with a cup of tea in our yard. Eating the woodchuck raw and sucking the marrow out of life take time and keep me from writing here. (If you’re lost at this point, go read some Thoreau.)
The good news, I s’pose, is that I’ve been squirreling away blog ideas for the last year, just not writing them. I think I’m about to let loose the floodgates.
What about you—why are you a terrible blogger?